Changes to managing Crown reserves

New Crown land legislation will come into effect this year that will improve the governance of Crown reserves whilst continuing to strengthen community involvement.

The changes will affect all current reserve trust managers.

The management of Crown reserves is based on a partnership between government and the community. Local councils, professional boards, not for profit organisations and individual community-based volunteer boards continue under the new legislation.

Current management will automatically transition so that appointed managers continue to have the care, control and management responsibility for their Crown reserves. They will be known as Crown land managers.

To support transition to the new reserve management structure, the abolition of reserve trusts managed by corporations will be delayed until 1 July 2019. This will give additional time for corporate reserve managers to make changes to their operations associated with reserve trusts.

A series of information sessions for Crown land managers were held around the state during May to support the transition to new legislation.

Transition guides for Crown land managers are now available with further information on the changes:

Reserve management

  • reserve management framework modified to recognise the diversity and capability of current managers
  • all appointed managers of Crown land will be known as Crown land managers
  • all existing reserve trust managers will automatically transition so that they continue to have the care, control and management responsibility of their Crown reserves
  • all existing assets, liabilities, tenures and contracts of the reserve trust automatically transition to the Crown land manager.

For boards and administrators

  • existing reserve trust corporate entity is converted to a statutory land manager
  • existing trustees are automatically appointed to the new statutory land manager
  • boards appointed under the new legislation have a maximum of seven members including ex-officio appointments
  • existing boards exceeding seven members will remain valid until the current term expires.

For corporations

  • the existing reserve trust is abolished and the appointed Crown reserves are managed directly by the corporation’s entity
  • revenue generated on Crown reserves continues to be only available to be expended on the Crown reserves under management
  • the Lands Administration Ministerial Corporation (Min Corp) continues under the new Act.

For the Minister

  • continues to be responsible for all reserved and dedicated Crown land when there has been no Crown land manager appointed
  • can also be responsible for the affairs and reserves of a statutory land manager.

For local councils

  • councils play an important role in managing Crown land for their local communities
  • this will continue under the CLM Act with council reserve trust managers being appointed as Crown land managers for land they currently manage
  • councils will manage Crown land as if it were public land under the Local Government Act 1993
  • the department is working with Office of Local Government to support and prepare councils for this transition
  • a series of guidance notes to support the classification and categorisation of Crown land managed as if it were public land under the Local Government Act 1993 are available
  • councils will receive funding to support the development of plans of management for Crown reserves, answers to frequently asked questions are available
  • to support transition to the new regime for councils managing Crown land, the abolition of reserve trusts managed by councils will be delayed until 1 July 2019. This will give additional time for councils to make changes to their operations associated with reserve trusts.

Funding

The Public Reserves Management Fund will be known as the Crown Reserves Improvement Fund. Both council and non-council Crown land managers, common trusts and freehold showgrounds will continue to be eligible to apply for grants and loans to support their reserve management responsibilities.

Governance

The legislation provides for a number of governance improvements to enable better oversight and direction of management outcomes. This includes a community engagement strategy to guide community consultation for non-council Crown land managers. A Crown reserve code of conduct establishes the minimum standard of behaviours expected of people contributing to the management of a Crown reserve.

Native title

Native title managers engaged or employed by each Council and professional non-Council Crown land manager, ensure compliance with native title obligations.

For more information, see Native title.

Resources

The department is supporting Crown land managers through the transition in legislation. You can find the latest news, information and resources in the updates for Crown land managers:

Transition guides for Crown land managers: